>> reporter: the organization started in 1991 to help youngsters get a well rounded education despite living in some of the most impoverished areas in the district good through our programs, we try to empower our kids with different skill sets so they can get themselves out of poverty, go to school, college, trade school, things of that nature. >> reporter: omar carrington has been coming to perry school since he was 5 years old. he loves art and he enjoys learning about history. >> mj teaches about peace, cease-fire, martin luther king, nelson mandela, rosa parks, roger douglas, harriet thomas. >> reporter: director cory poole says through the years the district has improved economically, but the city's poor need guidance. >> once you build up a child's self-esteem, academically they start getting more confidence.